The marble-white wonder whose elegant domes pierce the sky in Agra, India, is Mughal emperor Shah Jahan’s memorial to his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. A monument to love and remembrance, the Taj Mahal becomes the literal and symbolic centerpiece of Rajiv Joseph’s new play, Guards at the Taj. In 1648, the titular characters, Humayun and Babur, stand guard facing away from the Taj Mahal, whose surrounding walls are set to come down at dawn to unveil the grand mausoleum. The Beckett-style banter that fills the idle hours of anticipation calls to mind Waiting for Godot, but the play’s light humor takes a grim turn when the pair gets asked to participate in the emperor’s unfathomably horrific scheme. Read more >>> The play runs Feb. 1 to Feb. 28 at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, 641 D St. NW. $43–$68. (202) 393-3939. woollymammoth.net. (Victoria Gaffney)
Belgian beer bar The Sovereign made its debut in Georgetown yesterday. The Neighborhood Restaurant Group spot aims to set itself apart from other Belgian beer hubs with a menu that focuses more on the traditional funky, dry, and sour beers from smaller brewers and less on mega-brands’ beers. The bar is pouring 50 drafts and has more than 250 bottles available. The food menu includes Dutch-style mussels and lots of meats braised in beer. Also check out the bicky burger—a deep-fried beef and pork patty on an English muffin with fried onions, pickles, and bicky sauce (like a Belgian thousand island dressing). Read more and take a look at the menu on Young & Hungry. The Sovereign, 1206 Wisconsin Ave. NW. (202) 774-5875. thesovereigndc.com. (Jessica Sidman)
OH AND ALSO
Friday: The Joe Goode Performance Group brings its latest piece, The Resilience Project, which explores how humans cope with grief and trauma, to Rockville’s American Dance Institute. 8 p.m. at 1570 East Jefferson St., Rockville. $15–$30.
Friday: Georges Bizet‘s classic opera gets a new setting and some lively accompaniment from the Buena Vista Social Club in the In Series’ latest production, Carmen in Havana, opening tonight at Atlas Performing Arts Center. 8 p.m. at 1333 H St. NE. $23–$46.
Friday: Local hardcore act Loud Boyz performs at Rock & Roll Hotel with War on Women and The Rememberables. 9 p.m. at 1353 H St. NE. $12.
Saturday: It’s easy to love Blazing Saddles for its abject silliness. But the movie that is arguably Mel Brooks’ best is filled with subversiveness. At almost every turn, Clevon Little’s silky smooth sheriff possesses a self-awareness that lets him outwit the town of dim racists he’s been sent to serve, at one point getting out of a jam by pointing a gun at his own head and declaring “the next man that makes a move, the nigger gets it!” Everything about the movie works. And for one night only at the Kennedy Center, Mel Brooks will screen the film and share behind-the-scenes stories. Read more >>> Mel Brooks performs at 7:30 p.m. at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, 2700 F St. NW. $75–$150. (202) 467-4600. kennedy-center.org. (Steve Cavendish)
Saturday: Indie rock act Wylder pays tribute to Weezer by playing The Blue Album in its entirety at DC9. Broke Royals and The Duskwhales open the show. 9 p.m. at 1940 9th St. NW. $8.
Saturday: At the Anacostia Playhouse, Iamaman Productions begins performances of A Matter of Black, a new play about young people fighting for their futures in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement. 7 p.m. at 1231 Good Hope Road SE. $20–$25.
Sunday: Silver Spring rock trio Two Inch Astronaut often gets heralded as the modern evolution of D.C.’s ’80s and ’90s hardcore scene. The influence is there, but it’s not the only sound that comes through in its music. What makes Two Inch Astronaut so compelling is its stew of ’90s rock ‘n’ roll sounds. This mix sounds better than ever on the lead singles from the band’s upcoming LP, Personal Life. Read more >>> Two Inch Astronaut performs with Laughing Man and Hemlines at 7:30 p.m. at the Black Cat Backstage, 1811 14th St. NW. $10. (202) 667-4490. blackcatdc.com. (Justin Weber)
Sunday: The Phillips Collection opens a new exhibition of landscape paintings, loaned from the collection of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. 12 p.m. at 1600 21st St. NW. $10–$12.
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